St. John’s kicked off their annual Homecoming event with “I Heart STJ Fest” on Wednesday, October 8 in Marillac Terrace. Student Programming Board (SPB) President Laura Yacinthe was excited to see a big turn out of students waiting anxiously on line to get in. “It’s absolutely fantastic. We expected a good crowd but not as big as this,” she said. Yacinthe said, “We worked hard with a group of advisors to get this event together. We tried to get things that we’ve never gotten before.” Jeniffer Panzarella, assistant director of Campus Activities, who was also in attendance, agreed with Yacinthe. “It’s definitely busier than last year,” Panzarella said. “We try to change it up a bit every year.” This year, activities, such as a digital audio recording studio was introduced, where participants were able to sing along to one of their favorite songs and create their own CD. Freshmen Lola Ojo and Shannon Mason enjoyed their time in the recording booth. Ojo said, “It was really fun because I got to sing Survivor, by Destiny’s Child with my friends and we got the CD at the end.” “I decided to come out and show some support rather than taking a nap,” she added. Mason also added that they were able to take several pictures in the photo booth and that “it was fun to get all three people’s face in one booth.” Other activities included a personalized engraving shop. Freshman Amarinder Parmar said, “I got a dog tag for my brother. I thought there were a lot of different choices with what you can get.” “I thought [the event] was really good. It makes me feel like the school cares for their students. It makes me want to get more involved rather than studying all the time.” Student Lovepreet Kaur agreed. “I think it’s great because they make you feel like family and that you’re a part of St. John’s. We didn’t have these types of events in high school and it makes me happy that they do things like this.” Sophomore Helen Sin said she felt the school pride and also got a chance to get together with friends as well. However, she also said, “The line was very long. I had to wait 30 minutes just to get in but it was worth the wait because I got a free shirt and I guess that’s what most people were here for.” All students received free giveaways as they entered, which were the “I heart STJ” shirts, back packs, men’s shorts and a small wallet. SPB member Liam La Guerre helped hand out the free giveaways as the students entered. “It’s fun to give out things because it makes people happy. It’s all about the students because they are celebrating St. John’s; they are celebrating the school. Look at everyone smiling!” La Guerre said.